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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Chayei Sarah 5-7

The lives of Sarah

Genesis 25:12-18

These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes.

Gen. 25:13-16 ESV

What will be Yishmaels final cry?

Yishmael was blessed in such a way that he begot twelve princes, each one with a tribe. This fact confirms the promise given to Avraham and Hagar about their future, as it is written in Genesis 17:20: "As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation." and Genesis 21:13: "And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." and Genesis 21:18: "Rise up, lift up the boy and hold him up with your hand, for I will make him a great nation." (MKJV)

Three times did the Eternal promise that He would make of Yishmael a great nation, and in the text we are dealing with now, we can see that the Eternal is faithful to fulfill His promise.

The blessing over Yishmael does not only involve his offspring's multiplication so that they are many and prosperous in the world, but also in a spiritual dimension. That blessing is reserved in a special manner for the end of times when Islam is broken.

The name Yishmael, which was given by the Eternal to this son of Avraham, means "the Mighty One will listen". Hagar's cry of affliction was heard by the Eternal and precisely because of that the boy received the name Yishmael (16:11). Then, the Eternal heard the voice of the boy when he was crying and about to die (21:17).

Yishmael knows how to cry out. His descendants, the Arab people, shout a lot. The Eternal gave him the ability to cry out. The name Yishmael contains a prophecy about his ending; he will cry out and the Mighty One will hear his shout. It will first be a cry for help, like that time when he was about to die, because many griefs will fall upon the Arab countries in the last days, as it is written in Daniel 11:40-44: "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south (Egypt) push at him: and the king of the north (Syria) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon (The actual Jordan). He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many" (KJV)

The Arab countries, especially Egypt, will undergo many sufferings due to the wars that will come at the time of the end. This will produce a strong cry among them. But the cry will change in tone and a very different cry will finally come out from Yishmael's mouth. Instead of shouting with hatred against his brother Yitzchak and blaming him for all that he himself is going through, or shout because of the wars he is suffering, he will start crying out to Heaven – not to Islam's false god – but to the Mighty One of Israel. And then He will listen and respond, as it is written in Isaiah 19:22: "And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them." (ESV)

After receiving this wonderful healing from the God of the Jews, Yishmael's sons will lift up their voices with a different kind of shout, as it is written in Isaiah 42:11-12: "Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits (the second son of Yishmael); let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands." (ESV)

Yishmael's last shout will be a shout of praise to the Eternal, the God of Israel, who didnt put His Name in Mecca but in Yerushalayim. And it is to Yerushalayim that the sons of Yishmael, in a near future, will come to offer sacrifices in the third temple, as it is written in Isaiah 60:7: "All the flocks of Kedar (the second son of Yishmael) shall be gathered together to you (Yerushalayim); the rams of Nebaioth (Yishmael’s firstborn) shall minister to you. They shall come up on My altar pleasing Me, and I will glorify the house of My glory." (ESV)

In this way, the purpose of Yishmael’s name will be fulfilled in his descendants. The Mighty One will listen and will make them a great people which will bring a big blessing, both material and spiritual, to the world. May that day come soon and in our days, Amen!

Shabbat shalom,


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